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Sunday 5th August 2012
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Saturday July 21 2012 by Mark Reynolds and Cyril Dixon

A GUNMAN who claimed he was The Joker shot 12 dead at a premiere of the latest Batman film yesterday.

A US police chief said last night: “It clearly looks like a deranged individual.

“He had his hair painted red.

He said he was The Joker, obviously the ‘enemy’ of Batman.”

Loner James Holmes, 24, a PhD student, stormed the screening armed with an assault rifle, shotgun, handguns and tear-gas grenades in one of America’s worst gun rampages.

Fifty-nine people were injured.

The youngest was just four months old. At first the audience thought it was a stunt, but, as one witness, Evan Dozier, who was at the cinema with his wife and three children, said it became “very real, very quickly”.

I was looking death in the face and I was petrified

Survivor Jennifer Seeger

The college drop-out “behaved like The Terminator” after walking calmly into the Century 16 cinema in Aurora, Colorado, via a fire exit about half an hour after the midnight screening began.

He set off gas canister explosions first, then, wearing body armour and a gas mask, he began climbing the stairs of the auditorium, firing randomly at the audience with a semi-automatic assault rifle and two Glock handguns.

The 200 or so audience members at the showing of The Dark Knight Rises were “like sitting ducks”.

Survivor Jennifer Seeger, 22, said: “After shooting to the ceiling he then lowered the rifle and pointed it straight at me. I was looking death in the face and I was petrified.”


She dived forward in the aisle and curled up in a ball, at which point he shot someone behind her instead.

She could feel falling bullets casings singeing her forehead as he pumped bullets into people around the auditorium. She said: “He showed no emotion, he was calm and it seemed like he was playing a game, he didn’t say anything.”

Another survivor, Chris Jones, said: “First you smelled smoke and you thought it was fireworks. Then you just saw people start dropping.

“There were at least 20-30 rounds within that minute or two. You just kept hearing it ‘Bam-bam-bam-bam-bam’ non-stop.

“He didn’t have to reload, he just kept going.”

Mr Dozier added: “He must have shot 19 or 20 rounds. People were scrambling left and right. Somebody behind us, maybe a straggler, was hit. He said, ‘I am hit’. The gunman looked like The Terminator. He didn’t say anything. He was just shooting and shooting and shooting.”

Silvana Guillen, 20, said: “At first we thought it was a hoax, a joke, like ‘Oh, some guy’s coming in to scare us’. “I was so scared I didn’t know what to do, we just ducked under the seats. The hardest part was getting up and moving, doing something about it.

“Our friend tried to help a lady next to him because she got shot and he slipped in her blood and we just ran.”

Last night Auorora police chief Dan Oates said officers were on the scene within one minute of receiving “hundreds” of emergency calls.

Holmes offered no resistance as he was arrested near his white Hyundai car parked outside. He was reportedly still carrying two firearms and told officers he also had explosives stored at his home, which had been booby-trapped.

Police and the FBI later raided his home which contained “buckets of weapons” and target sheets outside with bullet holes in them.

Officers said the flat had been arranged with a network of trip wires. Mr Oates said it could take days to safely dismantle the traps.

He said Holmes was wearing “a ballistic helmet, ballistic vest, ballistic groin protector, gas mask and black tactical gloves.” He had only been known to police on one previous occasion for speeding. Last night the killer’s distraught family issued a statement saying their hearts went out to all those involved in the shootings.

Police in San Diego, where they live, read a statement on their behalf asking the media to respect their privacy.

Last night there was speculation that the University of Colorado student may have belonged to an extreme anarchist group.

The film, The Dark Knight Rises, which stars British actor Christian Bale as Batman, features armed anti-capitalist gangs going on killing sprees.

In an earlier Batman film the late Heath Ledger played the superhero’s arch rival The Joker.

The Paris premiere of the Dark Knight Rises was cancelled last night by Warner Bros. A spokesman said the firm was “deeply saddened” at the shooting.

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22.07.12, 8:25am

There is much tighter control on the ownership of guns in the UK. Figures show there are about 40 times as many gun related murders in the US as the UK and even allowing for the population difference, this doesn’t suggest that the ownership of a gun makes you safer.

Still, I’m always willing to be convinced otherwise so I will have a look at the statistics that you reference in your post heading. Please provide a link to this evidence.

• Posted by: PastybreathReport Comment

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21.07.12, 2:46pm

When only criminals (including global tyrants) own weapons; and law-abiding are defenseless, then crime can proliferate uncontrolled, because police who have no DUTY to protect the citizen. Famous proponents of gun control were: Hitler, Stalin, Mao etc.

• Posted by: ekimwarReport Comment

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21.07.12, 1:41pm

edward its me

• Posted by: trucktReport Comment

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21.07.12, 1:38pm

still with my beautiful frame.....ask going for beauty not there a woman who can put up with my sexual return...ill work like a dog for you........super driver............what ever you want.......this man can

• Posted by: trucktReport Comment

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21.07.12, 1:26pm

am i forgiven ?i doubt hit sweetii broke my idiot broke my loon threw the milk bottlle though the window...and on it goes im still here...but a miracle women are not at all well....daft bastards

• Posted by: trucktReport Comment

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21.07.12, 1:12pm

i am right...always right thats why 5 wives have gone...the greatest lover.....the most generous man...but i couldnt keep my big mouth shut.........sorry girls

• Posted by: trucktReport Comment

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